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The Kumano Sea area is more than just the site of numerous cultural properties that make up the area’s Japanese heritage. There are plenty of other opportunities to explore, too, including World Heritage sites, scenic spots that have been registered as Japanese Geoparks, and places where you can experience whales.

Japan Heritage “Living with Whales” Area Map

*Electronic topographical map data (tiles) published by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan have been used with the permission of the Director-General of that organization (approval number: 2016 No. 647).

Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine

Information

  • Name:Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine
  • Location:1 Shingu, Shingu-shi MAP B1
  • Phone:0735-22-2533
  • Getting there:Located about 20 minutes on foot from JR Shingu Station.
  • Hours:6:00 am to 6:00 pm (varies seasonally)
  • Cost:Admission to the shrine grounds is free.

Thanks to the beautiful contrast between green trees and its vermillion-colored building, this shrine is a particularly photogenic World Heritage site.

Kamikura-jinja Shrine

Information

  • Name:Kamikura-jinja Shrine
  • Location:1-13-8 Kamikura, Shingu-shi MAP B1
  • Phone:0735-22-2533(Kumano Hayatama-jinja Shrine)
  • Getting there:The entrance to the base of the mountain is located about 20 minutes on foot from JR Shingu Station.
  • Cost:Access to the shrine grounds is free.

Gotobiki-iwa Rock is accessible from the base of the mountain via a steep set of 538 steps.

Whale Lookout

Information

  • Name:Whale Lookout
  • Location:Miwasaki, Shingu-shi MAP C2
  • Getting there:Located about 20 minutes on foot from JR Miwasaki Station.

Miwasaki’s whaling superintendent kept watch for whales here. The site can be accessed via a branch road that takes you slightly away from Koya-zaka Slope.

Kumano Kodo Koya-zaka Slope

Information

  • Name:Kumano Kodo Koya-zaka Slope
  • Location:Miwasaki, Shingu-shi MAP C2
  • Getting there:The trailhead on the Hirotsuno side is located about 15 minutes by car from JR Miwasaki Station. The trailhead on the Miwasaki side is located about 7 minutes on foot from JR Miwasaki Station.

Ojigahama Coast as seen from Koya-zaka Slope, which rises about 50 meters above the surrounding land. The route is an easy one, even for inexperienced hikers.

Harpooners’ Stone Shrine

Information

  • Name:Harpooners’ Stone Shrine
  • Location:Miwasaki, Shingu-shi MAP C2
  • Getting there:Located about 17 minutes on foot from JR Miwasaki Station.

This stone shrine can be found at Koukoinari-jinja Shrine. It is believed to have been built by a harpooner who served as the whaling superintendent at Miwasaki.

Kushima Island and Suzushima Island

Information

  • Name:Kushima Island and Suzushima Island
  • Location:Miwasaki, Shingu-shi MAP C2
  • Getting there:Located about 12 minutes on foot from JR Miwasaki Station.

Kushima Island is covered with thick vegetation and surrounded by tranquil ocean waters.

Ukijima-no-Mori Island

Information

  • Name:Ukijima-no-Mori Island
  • Location:3-38 Ukijima, Shingu-shi MAP C1
  • Phone:0735-21-0474
  • Getting there:Located about 8 minutes on foot from JR Shingu Station.
  • Hours:9:00 am to 5:00 pm (from December through February, until 4:00 pm).
  • Closed:Open year-round


  • Cost:Adults ¥100, children (age 6 to 11), ¥50

This highly unusual “island” is thought to have formed when dead plants accumulated to form a raft-shaped structure.

Stone lantern at Miwasaki Hachiman-jinja Shrine

Information

  • Name:Stone lantern at Miwasaki Hachiman-jinja Shrine
  • Location:Miwasaki, Shingu-shi MAP B2
  • Getting there:Located about 10 min. on foot from JR Miwasaki Station.

The name “Taiji Yoichi” has been carved into this stone lantern, which can be found next to a series of vermillion torii gates.

Miwasaki Whale Dance

Information

  • Date(s):Mid September
  • Location:Miwasaki Fishing Port MAP B2

The Whale Dance consists of the Denchu Dance, which represents the capture of a whale in a net, and the Aya Dance, which recreates the harpooning of a whale. The dance has been designated as an Intangible Folk-cultural Property by Wakayama Prefecture.

*Information in this website is accurate as of August 31, 2017. *Prices were verified as of the time of compilation and include consumption tax. *Travel times are approximate.

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